Every Debut Country Song from the ACM Awards: Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson, and More

The ACM Awards aired last night, May 16, on Prime Video, and all of country music came out to the Party of the Year to celebrate country in all its various forms. Reba McEntire hosted the show, and there were some great performances by Kelsea Ballerini and Noah Kahan, Miranda Lambert, and Cody Johnson, among others.

Videos by American Songwriter

There were also a handful of debuts last night, whether first-time live performances or unreleased songs. Here are all the debuts from the ACM Awards.

[RELATED: 2024 ACM Awards Winners – The Full List]

ACM Awards Country Music Debuts

Jelly Roll — “Liar”

Jelly Roll took the stage early in the show to perform an unreleased song titled “Liar.” The crowd went wild, getting on their feet and picking up the chorus almost instantly. In the song, Jelly Roll condemns the vices that once tempted him. “Saying drink another whiskey / Pop another pill / Money makes you happy / Heaven isn’t real,” he sang.

However, launching into the chorus, Jelly Roll made the message of the song clear. “You ain’t nothing but a liar / Yeah I walk right out that fire / Yeah you try to keep me down / Try to put me underground / I know we’re going higher,” sang Jelly Roll, landing on the explosive final line, “The devil is a liar!”

Post Malone — “Never Love You Again”

Post Malone got up in front of the country music world and debuted a brand new song titled “Never Love You Again,” and even though he later revealed he was beyond nervous to perform, he still had the crowd cheering for him. Allegedly, the new song will feature on his upcoming country album, which supposedly is coming this year.

He also performed a solo version of “I Had Some Help,” his collaboration with Morgan Wallen which dropped on May 10. The song has been wildly popular so far, and the solo version was a refreshing take that showcased Post’s vocals. He also performed an impromptu duet with Reba McEntire—who seems to be a huge Posty fan—in honor of the late Dickey Betts. The two sang an acapella version of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Ramblin’ Man.”

Nate Smith and Avril Lavigne — “Bulletproof”

Nate Smith previously released the song “Bulletproof” on his Through the Smoke EP, but at the ACM Awards he debuted a new version which included an unlikely duet partner—pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne. Smith opened the performance by himself at first, before announcing Lavigne, who bounded on stage in a very 2000s outfit of ripped bell bottom jeans and a hooded sweatshirt.

The pair seemed to be having a great time on stage together, sharing smiles during the performance. While “Bulletproof” wasn’t exactly a new song, it was given new life with Lavigne’s collaboration, as she proved she still sounds the same as she did way back in 2002.

Lainey Wilson — “Hang Tight Honey”

Lainey Wilson opened the ACM Awards with her newest single “Hang Tight Honey” from her upcoming album Whirlwind. The song is high-energy and lovesick, painting the picture of reassuring a lover that you’re on your way home after a long trip. “Just one more day to get through / Hang tight honey got a pocket full of money / and I’m headed straight home to you,” Wilson sang.

She has described her new album as “the Western sister” to Bell Bottom Country, her 2022 album. “Hang Tight Honey” is a taste of that traditional country flair that she’s going for, and it seems like she’s setting fans up for a whirlwind of sound.

Reba McEntire Closes Out the ACM Awards — “I Can’t”

Reba McEntire closed the ACM Awards with a “big production”—as she put it—of her new single “I Can’t.” While she technically debuted the song on The Voice a few days earlier, McEntire turned the show up to 11 with this performance. Featuring a choir of backing singers, pyrotechnics, and confetti, McEntire created an electric ending to the show. The song is intense on its own, but the inclusion of all the other elements brought the house down.

Featured Images by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Nikki Sixx Discusses Legacy of 'Dr. Feelgood' and How Vancouver Made the Album "Special"

Nikki Sixx Opens up on ‘Dr. Feelgood’ Legacy 35 Years Later and How Vancouver Made the Album “Special”

Baby, He’s a Rich Man: Paul McCartney Is Again Ranked the Wealthiest U.K. Music Artist, with Billion-Pound Fortune

Baby, He’s a Rich Man: Paul McCartney Is Again Ranked the Wealthiest U.K. Music Artist, with Billion-Pound Fortune